The Dreaded UNSUBSCRIBE: Why Readers Stop Reading Your Emails

Email is hands down one of the best technological advancements for businesses. Sending documents, links to websites, videos, photos and news can all be done in a matter of moments and reach people all over the world. However, as the general public has become more tech-savvy they are also becoming more guarded of their contact information.

Aggressive Nature of ISP’s

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Email providers like Gmail and Hotmail have become more aggressive with their monitoring procedures. When customers fail to open an email or choose not to click on links offered in the messages, those senders are seen as spam by the ISP. Thus, a lack of action on the part of one of your subscribers forces your message to wind up in the junk folder. Not a good sign.

Why Interest Levels of Subscribers Tend to Drop Off

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One marketing company, Litmus.com, did a study to find out why subscribers lose interest over time. Would you like to guess the Number One reason??? TOO MANY EMAILS, TOO OFTEN. People don’t want an email every day or every other day. Over 50% of the surveyed people stated this as their reason for unsubscribing from email lists. The second reason, with over 40% of respondents, said the content offered by the emails were boring or repetitive.
What Can You Do to Keep Subscribers Happy and Interested in Your Offers?
Make sure that subscribers are choosing to opt-in to your service. An even better approach is a double opt-in option. This will require subscribers to take an extra step but it also ensures they really want what you have to offer.
Design emails with frequency options. Give the customers a chance to tell you how often they want to receive messages. This allows the customer to stay in charge while staying in touch.
Put a note in the emails asking subscribers to place your email address in their list of approved contacts. This will stop your messages from automatically hitting the spam folders and reinforce acceptance from the client or prospect.
Test, test and test some more. Test the days that you send out emails messages to see which days get the best response. Test times of the day. Change the subject line. Change the offer. Change the introduction. Test every feature of the messages and make notes about what works and what doesn’t.

Are you using email to stay in touch with clients, educate them and pre-sell them on your products or services? If you would like to learn more about email marketing use the form below to get in touch with me.

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Video is Very Important to Helping People Find Your Website

Televisions and movies have held the attention of the American people for years. Thanks to digital formats and equipment, people are finding it is quite easy to record almost anything and post it online. Viral video marketing is all the rage for companies that want to try and hit a home run with a simple clip. But would it surprise you to find out that those same short videos can make it easier for people to find your website?

Power of Video is Twofold

There is no denying that people would rather see a video than read a long piece of text. The online video king, YouTube,
stated that in 2010 an average person would watch at least 15 minutes of video each and every day online. But in 2011, the viewing time increased by 35%! People want to see your products, your business, your happy clients and other related items online, at their leisure.

But video makes it easier for your website to be found. Since Google, the largest internet search engine, bought YouTube, videos have more prominence. A video focused on providing quality content to a popular search term will show up high in the search engine results.

Information Reigns Supreme Online

Besides helping people to find a website easier, viral video marketing allows you to explain complicated topics and show happy results. It is perfect for showing your property, your equipment and doing how-to such as improving accuracy with a rifle or perfecting a particular fishing cast. Happy clients smiling and bragging about the wonderful work you have done are also great ways to use video to boost your appeal in the local market.

Are you currently using viral video marketing? What kind of results have you seen? Would you like to learn more about video and how to use it on your website to attract more customers?

Leave your comments below or use the Contact Form to get in touch with us. Don’t forget to download your free copy of our report “5 fatal Internet Marketing Mistakes that Can Kill Your Business”

How to Use Your Next Booking to Make A LOT of New Bookings

Leverage: [lev-er-ij] (noun) the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one’s investment (source http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/leverage)

Would you like to use ONE successful fishing trip or hunting trip as a means of winning a LOT more customers?  Read on to see how you can use leverage to your marketing advantage.

Take LOTS of Pictures

When people are trying to determine if they want to use your services, they want to get a feel for everything.  People are interested in the lodge, the food, the equipment and of course the property.  If you are a fishing guide then you should have lots of pics of your boat, tackle and the waters you frequent.  Include some pics of happy people holding a nice catch.

If you are a hunting outfitter, then you will have more targets for your pictures.  You can take pics of the lodge, the hunting ground, the cooler where game is stored, the vehicles used to transport people out to the field and of course the hunting grounds.  Once again, have lots of pics of smiling faces with their recent trophy.

Video Will SELL You to New Prospects

Want to know a little secret about video?  People are sick and tired of advertisements.  BUT, people love to be genuinely informed and want to see success.  So give it to them.  Get a cheap mini camcorder and record as much as you can on your next outing.  Explain what you are doing along the way.  For fishing guides, hold up the tackle, talk about the weather and the season.  Take video of the cast and retrieve, explaining why you are doing certain things at a certain time.  Finally, when the client hooks a fish, film as much as you can.

For hunting guides, do the same thing.  Explain about the animal’s tendencies during the current weather conditions.  Explain why you are setting up in a certain space.  Talk about the techniques being used (calls, rattles, decoys, etc.) and the success you have had in the past with the techniques.  When your client cuts down on a trophy, get it on film.  With one of the small camcorders you can be ready at a moment’s notice to get everything in action.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have some pictures and videos of a successful outing, you can start broadcasting the information in lots of different ways.  Obviously, you can write up a quick summary and put it on your website, including links to the pictures and video.  You can put snippets of the video on YouTube and other video sites in order to gain new leads.  The same can be done with a handful of pics on photo sharing sites.  Take your notes, along with some diagrams and photos, and make a slide show.  Post the slide show to a site like Slide Share.  Notify people via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ about the recent outing.  If you are taking advantage of a text message marketing service, you can send out a short text to past clients and new prospects about the new video and photos.  All of this information, links and media can come from ONE booking.  And it can lead to a BUNCH of new bookings.  IF you leverage it correctly.

P.S.  Looking for a way to stay in touch with past clients?  Have you considered using text message marketing?  It is a great way to keep you in front of your customers and it is SUPER cheap.  You can get started with a FREE month here.

The 5 Common Mistakes Made by Hunting Guides and Fishing Guides

Everybody makes a mistake, and there should not be any shame from making an honest error.  HOWEVER, failing to learn from a mistake is where the real problem lies.  Listed below are the common errors made by fishing and hunting guides in their day-to-day business.  Correct these errors and you are well on your way to improving your profits.

Failing to Keep a List

Most of the people involved in the hunting and fishing business rely too heavily on word of mouth.  That is one reason why so many of these guides find themselves trying to work at another job while also offering their guide services.  One of the best things a guide can do is capture contact information from their clients.  Get their email, home address and phone numbers and store them in one spot.   This makes it a snap to send out an email blast announcing news and more services.  This leads us to the next mistake . . .

Failing to Stay in Touch

Guides are like old high school friends.  Everyone promises to keep in touch and stay connected, but it rarely happens.  If you operate a hunting lodge or a fishing guide service you owe it to yourself to plan out a strategy to stay in touch with past clients.  Send them a postcard about the upcoming season.  Drop them an email to ask if they have any recent trophy pics they want to share.  Send them a letter once a quarter about things they can do to prepare for next season.  Stay in touch so they will get in touch with you for their next outing.

Failing to have a Strong Set of Policies

What will you do if there is a tornado that destroys your lodge?  What if the temperatures go out of whack at your location and leave your clients empty handed?  What if your client ignores your requests and takes the wrong trophy?  You cannot possibly compensate a client for every conceivable catastrophe but you need to be prepared.  Have your policies laid out in writing and ask the client to sign a waiver form covering items out of your control.  The power of a handshake and a verbal agreement is not what it used to be.

Failing to Branch Out

Do you offer only type of service at your lodge?  Maybe you are a quail guide and all you do is offer quail hunts.  There is nothing wrong with having a laser-beam focus on doing one thing and doing it better than the competition. But that does not mean you can’t branch out in other ways.  Have you considered chatting with another guide that offers a different type of service and selling it to your list (see first point above)?  If you are a quail guide, I would imagine you could sell quite a few guided turkey hunts for your turkey expert down the road and he would cut you a commission on each sale.

Failing to Pay Attention to the Small Details

When a hunter or angler comes to you for your services they expect you to take care of everything.  They literally want to show up, put in a little effort and leave with a trophy.   It is important that you pay attention to the little details to make the trip enjoyable.  Clean sheets on the bed, recently cleaned restrooms, clean vehicle for transporting guests and a clean, fresh smell in the lodge are just a few examples.  Keep everything tidy and presentable and you will reap the reward of repeat bookings.

 

Have you fallen victim to any of these mistakes?  If so, what steps are you taking to correct them?  Leave me a comment, or question, below and I will be happy to help you out.

 

 

Finding New Customers is a Lot like Fishing

The average angler or hunter is a person that likely works a full time job doing something other than hunting or fishing.  They look at outdoor guides as an enviable position.  I mean, how could it get any better than to make a living working in the outdoors?  However, most outdoor fans don’t realize that running a hunting lodge or a fishing guide service takes dedicated effort and year round work. When it comes to finding new clients, there are some strong similarities to fishing.

Tried & True Methods

Most anglers, as well as fishing guides, have a handful of techniques or strategies that work well for them.  It could be something as simple as using a Texas rigged worm 90% of the time, or it could be a system of working through a handful of lures until something bites.  Anglers know that past experience says “I have used this lure/technique before to catch fish, it should work again.”   However, sometimes doing the same old thing just does not work

The same can be said for marketing.  The old fashioned method of “give customers great service and they will tell all their friends about you” is a strategy based on hope.  More often than not, outfitters and guides need to be proactive in trying out marketing methods like email, social media, and web leads to go along with their traditional forms of advertising.

Familiar Spots

Anglers are notorious for fishing a “special spot” that they think nobody else has ever found.  They caught a few fish there once, maybe twice, and now they are convinced that fish live there.  However, seasoned tournament anglers will tell you that finding a pattern in a lake, stream or river is a better strategy.  If bass are hitting a blue and black jig around a particular drop-off chances are good they will hit the same lure at a similar type of drop-off elsewhere in the body of water.

When it comes to marketing outfitters need to branch out from their familiar zone.  Video might work great for them once, and then fizzle.  In the meantime, their competition could be using a blog and social media to drive in new leads and find customers.

Stay Current with Gear and Changes in Technology

Anglers love to get new toys.  New rods, reels and lures are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are digital scales, waders, ventilated shoes, hats, gloves, hook removers etc., etc., etc.  They have no problem talking to their fishing buddies to find out if anybody has tried the latest gadget to find out if it is worth its salt.

Marketing changes as technology changes.  The techniques and strategies that were in use 10 or 15 years ago are antiquated relics now.  An outfitter that does not have a strong web presence with significant amounts of updated information will lose to the competition quickly.

 

Try Something Different 

Wonder if THIS will catch me some fish???

Anglers get stuck going after the same old fish.  A trout guy will spend HOURS fishing for the rainbow beauties while ignoring the crappie, bass, carp and steelhead located all around him.  Same can be said for anglers that like the other species.  Anglers need to try their hand at catching a new type of fish and even a new technique.  They could discover some fun that they were neglecting.

Outfitters also need to try some new techniques.  Whether it is a full scale social media blitz or simply getting their toes wet in one place like Facebook or Twitter, they should try out something new.  They may find some new friends and discover a new side to their business that they previously had never considered.